Board meeting January 29, 2020

Overview of 2019 financials

You may recall that we committed to a growth-oriented approach to boost revenues in our 2019 budget.  We created a budget in which we expected to spend about $35,000 more than our projected revenue from all sources (our plan was to address this shortfall by using surpluses from prior years).   We are thrilled upon an initial review of our year end financials (they have not yet been presented to our Finance Committee) that our revenues actually exceeded our expenses. We had an outstanding December as year- end campaign and Christmas Eve service both exceeded our goals, while staff vacancies resulted in lower expenses.   We thank you for your generous support throughout the year. 

We are continuing to track attendance and offerings: we will continue to focus on trying to get more individuals to commit to automating their offering via a regular credit card or bank account deduction.  People who do this are known as “sustainers” and truly offer our church the stability to plan and strategize based on meaningful revenue projections.   

Creation of the “Engagement Committee”, replacing the “Fund Development Committee”

Bentley Springer and Lisa Chinnery have continued to update the Board as they develop and fine-tune their proposal to identify improved methods to engage our congregation, the broader community, and our social justice allies and collaborators.  They are developing a Statement of Purpose, timelines, and Key Performance Indicators – tentatively focused on attendance, volunteer hours, and financial support.

Their goal is examining how we can improve our congregational communications, engagement, recognition and commitment to sharing our gifts of time, talents and financial resources.  

Senior Pastor Report

We are in the interview stage of our search for the Pastor of Programs and Pastoral Care.  Program expansion is limited until this position is filled.  In the meantime, the Young Adults at MCC Toronto (YAMs) is meeting monthly, another Membership class will be held Feb. 9, and book and Bible studies are planned.  Our beloved, aged building is in an almost continuous state of repairs: the church steeple was repaired but we are working with contractors regarding some leaks.  There has been flooding in the old Sunday school room in the basement and Mark is working on flood mitigation plan.  We are pleased that we have had new carpeting installed in our collaborative workspace on the second floor. 

New pew pocket materials are being printed.  We are also looking to redevelop our website by early summer.

Jeff has been building bridges on a number of fronts: a letter to Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth, engaging in quiet conversations  with several Conservative party members about being more LGBTQ2+ positive, continuing partnership with the Centre for Israeli Jewish Affairs, co-signing an online hate Op Ed letter to David Lametti, Minister of Justice, and serving on the Board of CANFAR ( Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research).

Contact us

Remember that your Board represents and is responsible to you, the congregation.   If you have questions or concerns you can contact us via a confidential email at  bofd@mcctoronto.com

Lori Boyce,
Chair, Governance Committee

Co-Vice Moderator of the Board

Board meeting November 13, 2019

Overview of 2019 financials

In our 2018 budgeting exercise for 2019, the Board committed to a growth-oriented approach to boost revenues.  We created a budget in which we expected to spend about $35,000 more than our projected revenue from all sources.  Our plan was to address this shortfall by using our reserves.   We are now into our usual year end revenue crush as we heavily depend on two major sources of funds: our year- end appeal and Christmas Eve at Roy Thomson Hall (note: new 9PM start time).  

We are continuing to track attendance and offerings: we will continue to focus on trying to get more individuals to commit to automating their offering via a regular credit card or bank account deduction.  People who do this are known as “sustainers” and truly offer our church the stability to plan and strategize based on meaningful revenue projections.  

2020 Budget has been approved

We thanked Jeff, Samuel, the Finance Committee and all those who contributed to the development of our 2020 budget.   We believe that 2020 will be an important year for us as we attempt to provide more focus on congregational support, communication and engagement.  We are again budgeting a revenue shortfall while simultaneously seeking to grow revenue and manage expenses.

Fund Development Committee’s mandate to be reviewed

We are excited to begin the process of exploring the optimal utilization of this Board committee (that also has congregational representation) and perhaps changing its name to the Engagement Development Committee to acknowledge its expanded role in fostering involvement in MCC Toronto in various ways including funding.  We are examining how we can improve our congregational communications, engagement, recognition and commitment to sharing our gifts of time, talents and financial resources.  Bentley Springer and Lisa Chinnery presented their proposal to shift focus to identifying improved methods to engage our congregation, the broader community, and our social justice allies and collaborators.

 We understand that most of us on the Board had a similar early journey: from lacking awareness of MCC Toronto, to discovering MCC Toronto but perhaps being leery of  attending our first service or event, to our first visit, to becoming a regular attendee, and then, as we personally observed and experienced the transformative powers of the church, committing our time to volunteer on some basis and/or giving financially – and eventually recognizing MCC Toronto as our spiritual home and committing our time, talents and gifts to MCC Toronto and becoming an advocate for our MCC Toronto in our community and in our world.   How can we help others on their journey?

We know that we need to engage the congregation in order to truly live our Mission – to build bridges with a vibrant spirituality that transforms lives and transforms the world.  We will need to continue to improve our communications, transparency and build on our commitments to inclusiveness and diversity.  We are looking forward to their next report!

Rainbow Faith and Freedom (RFF) collaboration

We reviewed and supported an amended Memorandum of Understanding with RFF to a relationship that will be of mutual benefit to both organizations as we both work toward reducing religious based homophobia and building a more inclusive world for LGBT + individuals.

November 3 Congregational Conversation (formerly known as a “Town Hall”)

Jeff provided a staffing update, outlining the impact of phasing out the Executive Director role.  He also advised we get a significant benefit from a City of Toronto program that provides funding for four part time staff for one year which provides a win-win: practical experience for the participants while we benefit from their expertise, skills and enthusiasm as they provide support our paid staff.  Finally, we have posted for a Manager of Programs and Pastor Care position – full details are on our website.

An update was provided by Andrew Fleming, Janet Bridget Fitzsimmons, and Jeff regarding the MCC General Conference.   The denomination came together and selected Rev Elder Cecilia Eggleston as our new Moderator.  If you want a quick flavour of our new leader, check out this brief YOUTUBE video posted recently in recognition of World AIDS day.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEGTmaaXp5I

We proceeded to break into groups to reflect why MCC Toronto is our spiritual home, why we keep coming back, and what we must cherish about our church.  We also chatted about if we recommend MCC Toronto to our friends, and if not, why not.  We pondered what we do well and what we can improve on.

Finally, we dreamed a bit, about our dreams for MCC Toronto and how we can communicate more effectively.

While there was strong validation for what we have done and our current direction, we were reminded we cannot grow complacent.   We are still not fully accessible (ie: choir loft and pulpit are not a mobility-friendly spaces).  Many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of talking about our faith and church with non MCC’ers – we are hesitant due to the bad rap religion, church and proselytizing have received.  We talked about inviting folks to concert, events and programs at the church as a door opener.

We look forward to future Congregational Conversations as we pause to listen, engage and dream together.

Contact us

Remember that your Board represents and is responsible to you, the congregation.   If you have questions or concerns you can contact us via a confidential email at  bofd@mcctoronto.com

Lori Boyce,
Chair, Governance Committee

Co-Vice Moderator of the Board